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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

 |  Drama, Sport  |  8 October 1962 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 5,191 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 35 critic

A rebellious youth, sentenced to a boy's reformatory for robbing a bakery, rises through the ranks of the institution through his prowess as a long distance runner. During his solitary runs... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (short story)
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Title: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962)

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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Avis Bunnage ...
Mrs. Smith
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Joe Robinson ...
Roach
Dervis Ward ...
Detective
Topsy Jane ...
Julia Foster ...
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Storyline

A rebellious youth, sentenced to a boy's reformatory for robbing a bakery, rises through the ranks of the institution through his prowess as a long distance runner. During his solitary runs, reveries of his life and times before his incarceration lead him to re-evaluate his privileged status as the Governor's prize runner. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Sport

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Details

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Release Date:

8 October 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rebel with a Cause  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony Richardson continued to insist on selecting filming locations, which he'd begun with A Taste of Honey (1961), the first British film to be shot entirely outside a studio. According to cinematographer Walter Lassally, location work was very difficult to sell to British film financiers at the time. "They were afraid that a lack of sunlight would delay the shooting interminably. It was impossible to convince them that for greater realism, it was actually desirable to shoot exteriors without sun." See more »

Goofs

When the boys are doing gardening work one character calls another "you mug" (meaning gullible idiot). This is incorrectly recorded in the subtitles as "you muppet" but the word "muppet" - meaning an idiot - was not in use when the film was made. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Colin Smith: Running was always a big thing in our family, specially running away from the police. It's hard to understand. All I know is that you've got to run, running without knowing why, through fields and woods. And the winning post's no end, even though the barmy crowds might be cheering themselves daft. That's what the loneliness of a long distance runner feels like.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in La solitude du chanteur de fond (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Guitar Music in Dormitory
(uncredited)
Music by Bill Bramwell
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User Reviews

 
Looking on with a lot of anger.
9 July 2000 | by (whisperingtree) – See all my reviews

The rise of the 'angry young man' in British cinema took an interesting twist in this gritty drama. Set initially in Nottingham, Smith and his mate played by a very young James Bolam are nicked for petty theft. Sent to a borstal his athletic prowess is seized on by the Head to be mobilised in the name of the institution. Michael Redgrave's superb creation combines the stiff Britishness with a surpressed and unfulfillable desire to reform and change. This opposition creates a man at odds with his position. On the one hands he trusts and on the other he is petty and weak. Courtney's runner defines the struggle of the period between the decaying class system and the consumer led rise of the working class. His desire to run his own race, to lose because he won't win to justify Redgrave's ideology portrays that essentially English state of mind that it is better to fail than to succeed as long as you have chosen to fail. A wonderful film.


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